Vaccinations against COVID-19 are expected to begin Thursday in Oregon for youth ages 12 to 15, according to senior government health officials.
Oregon Health Administration Director Patrick Allen said he expects “all final approvals to be in place” by the end of the day on Wednesday, and vaccinations could begin Thursday.
Portland mass vaccination sites say they are ready to start using Pfizer-BioNTech
Here’s how to get shots in the hands of younger teens as soon as the state gives permission:
- The Mass Vaccination Center at the Oregon Convention Center is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday, and will accept walks. The site will also begin allowing meetings to be booked for this age group once Oregon grants permission. The meeting schedule and opening hours are available from All4Oregon.org. The site is closed Friday and Saturday.
- The driving range at Hillsboro Stadium will accept a “limited” number of visits during business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, the site will host “a large number of dropouts” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Speakers in Spanish and English will be employees of the event on Thursday. Meetings can be scheduled on the OHSU website or – for those without internet access – at 833-647-8222
- The red-car parking lot at Portland International Airport is closed on Thursday, but is open Friday to Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staff will vaccinate people without reservation, subject to availability. The appointment can also be made on the OHSU website or – for those without internet access – at 833-647-8222.
- Outside the Portland area, Salem Health officials said they were ready to begin vaccinating young adolescents on Thursday at the state fairgrounds, which open at 8 a.m., with state approval. Once this approval is given, meetings can also be booked at https://www.salemhealth.org/covid-19/covid-vaccine, where business hours are also listed. Walks are welcome.
Pediatric surgeries, medical offices, public clinics and pharmacies are also expected to offer photos. Walgreens’ website said Wednesday night that it is planning meetings. Lisa Whitlock, chief executive of Sellwood Medical Clinic, said at one point her clinic had a waiting list of 600 children. Whitlock said the clinic has scheduled more than 400 appointments for 12- to 15-year-olds in less than 90 minutes on Wednesday for the coming days.
“I can tell you from what I heard from my parents that they are so excited to get the vaccine and open Oregon,” Whitlock said. “The demand is huge.”
Vaccination sites require parental consent for children ages 12 to 14. Oregon law allows young people aged 15 and over to agree to the vaccine on their own, so parental approval is not required.
A clinical study showed that the Pfizer vaccine was safe and highly effective in a study of more than 2,200 young people aged 12 to 15 years. After two doses, the study reported 18 cases of people with symptoms of COVID-19 in the placebo group, but zero in the vaccine group.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for this age group on Monday. An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s director signed on Wednesday. And the shots immediately began to enter weapons in some countries.
The Western Security Scientific Review Working Group, which offers recommendations to governors, including Oregon, must first give a nod. This is expected to happen late Wednesday, followed by final approval from the Oregon Health Authority, which is expected to come almost immediately.
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– Amy Green; firstname.lastname@example.org; @o_aimee